Buying your flipper-upper

Ever notice that those “home improvement” shows never show a low income or middle income family? Just some regular folks, trying to keep a roof over their heads and their children fed? It’s called “reality TV”, yet there is very little that’s “real” about it. They do have first time home buyers with a $900K budget though! Wow, that’s some nice coin for a couple in their late 20s. Or a retired couple who is needing 3800 square feet so they can have all of their kids & grand-kids over for dinner every weekend. Sure, that’s a realistic expectation.

Or the recently married couple who are shopping for their own personal island? Yes, I said ISLAND. Just a place to get away from humanity and enjoy the warm breezes, which is all the company you’ll have since living on an island redefines “anti-social behavior”.

Or just maybe you’ll win the lottery and be able to splurge on the ultimate dream home! Better set some of those winnings aside for a maid, because I seriously don’t see you cleaning all that square footage and windows.

Why do they never have a couple who is downsizing, now that their children are grown and moved out? Or a single guy who just wants something that’s better than the 5th wheel camper he’s been calling ‘home’ for the past 7 months? Or a recently divorced, single dad of 2 kids, who doesn’t want to go back to living in his parent’s basement, especially with the kids in tow?

How is it that no matter what home the couple may pick, the price of the renovations is *ALWAYS* exactly enough to bring the purchase price up to the total expected budget? Never do they find a cream-puff of a house, that’s under-valued, and needs less than expected in renovations? Never is there any money left over because they do find ways to spend every single penny, even if it means the house is now overbuilt for the neighborhood.

Sometimes the show is improving the home, yet it seems there is an unjustified increase in value. A full inside face-lift for only $30K, yet they claim it added another $100K in value. But when you & I try to sell our house, all those same improvements don’t add, or worse yet – detract, from the home value. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one man’s junk is another man’s merchandise, right?

I wonder how many times a couple said they loved the remodeled house and would stay in it forever, only to sell the house as soon as the cameras were turned off, thus making a tidy profit? That’ll never happen to you or I, because we’re going to be stuck paying a 30 year (or longer!) mortgage while we work our butts off for decades, just to “get by”.

Real life makes for lousy reality TV.

About hemibill

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